bikes look serious, soulful, funky, outlandish, larger than life, but they all
are a brilliant creation by their makers. So is the BMW R18 new “Spirit of
Passion” by Kingston Custom.
After Roland Sands and Bernhard Naumann (also
known as Blechmann) it was now the turn of Dirk Oehlerking to lend the BMW R 18
his inimitable signature with the second R18 gem in the “SoulFuel” series, a
collaboration between BMW Motorrad and selected customisers. Previously, a
sensation was also caused by an R 18 conversion created by Bernhard Naumann.
Sanders had made an R18 Dragsters.
home in India, the BMW R18 in its original form, was launched sometime in
September 2020. The motorcycle was launched at Rs 18.90 lakh onward. The all-new
BMW R 18 marked BMW Motorrad’s entry into the Indian cruiser segment. CLICK HERE TO READ THE STORY
Kingston Custom is well-known for its extreme customising. Anyone expecting a
complete rebuild of the R 18 will be in for a surprise, however. “The BMW R 18
is so perfect that I left the technology as it is. The frame is 100 % original
and so sophisticated that nothing should be changed here,” says Oehlerking. But
the bike has still been transformed into an unmistakable Kingston Custom
The “Spirit of Passion” in detail
biggest eye-catcher – and also the greatest challenge – is the Kingston
fairing. The bodywork is finished in handmade Kingston design, as are the
handlebars and mudguard. The BMW R 18 exhaust has been modified by Oehlerking
in Kingston Roadster style, while his saddle is drawn from the range of
universal accessories. The turn indicators have been replaced with Kellermann
indicators and the LED front headlight is now integrated in the fairing. The
original paintwork and lines have been adopted for the fairing and wing, with
the addition of some details in Kingston style. The wheel suspension and fuel
tank are original. The design as a whole is based on classic art deco style.
racer, designer and craftsman Dirk Oehlerking demonstrates once again in his
“Spirit of Passion” that he not only understands his craft but has embraced it
in his work for over 35 years. For him, the design process begins long before
the first screws are applied or sketches are made: “I put a lot of thought into
it beforehand. My motorbikes always convey soul, charm and character. They’re
outstanding specimens, so they require great care and attention. I have a
constant stream of images running past my mind’s eye when it comes to deciding
what style I want to focus on. Once I’ve made that choice, I start with a
sketch in pencil and Tipp-Ex. Then I keep going until I know in my heart of
hearts: that’s precisely it!”
native of Hanover, Oehlerking already has his own tradition of customising BMW
machines. Around 17 of the brand’s own creations are his, including the “Black
Phantom” and its sibling bike, the “White Phantom”. The two models defined
completely new standards in the industry at the time. Yet redesigning the R 18
was a novel undertaking for Oehlerking. “This project is probably the most
impressive of my entire career. It means a lot to me – if not everything at
this moment. The trust that BMW Motorrad has placed in me once again is hugely important
to me. I’m very grateful for that.”
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